Alberta.ca » Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual


Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: August 01, 2011
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04 Special Groups

16 and 17 Year Olds Not on Parent’s File

AUTHORITY

Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 6(2)(b)
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, Section 1(1)(b)(ii-iii)

INTENT

Child and Family Services is best equipped to meet the needs of children, including 16 and 17 year olds, and provides more appropriate child intervention services where required. This policy outlines the limited situations where a 16 or 17 year old might be assisted.

POLICY

Eligibility As Spouse or Cohabiting Partner
16 or 17 year olds are eligible to receive IS benefits as a spouse or cohabiting partner as part of an ETW or BFE household, but cannot be the Head of Household (HH) on the file.

16 and 17 year olds are eligible if:

  • The HH is 18 years of age or over, and
  • They are in a legal marriage or are living in a cohabiting relationship approved by their parents, and
  • The parents are unable or unwilling to support them; and
  • The household unit is eligible for assistance.


If the 16 and 17 year old spouse/partner is attending the regular school system (K-12) full time or plans to return to school after a school break, the student must apply for funding as an Income Support learner. IS benefits under ETW and BFE client categories are issued until learner benefits are received.

All other 16 or 17 year olds, including those separated from their spouse or partner, are referred to Child and Family Services for investigation and follow up if their parents are unable or unwilling to support them.

Financial Contribution From Parents
If the 16 or 17 year old is not legally married, the worker contacts the parents of the 16 or 17 year old applicant to determine if they are able or willing to provide financial support to the couple. The worker documents the results of their discussion with the parents in Mobius Notes.

Appeals
If Child and Family Services determine that a 16 or 17 year old is not in need of protection and has parental resources, they may refuse to provide the youth with services. The youth may appeal the decision to the Child, Youth and Family Services Appeal Panel.

The Income and Employment Supports Appeal Panel has no authority to rule on the eligibility of 16 or 17 year olds as heads of household.

Benefits
16 or 17 year olds who are a spouse or a cohabiting partner are considered to be an adult when determining eligibility for IS benefits under the IESA and ISTHB Regulation. The Core Benefits (Core Shelter and Core Essential) are issued based on a household unit of two adults plus any dependants. As required, 16 and 17 year olds are eligible for supplementary benefits.

If the 16 or 17 year-old spouse or partner is attending school, school supplies can be issued under Need Code 1866 Other Non-Continuous Need.

Earnings Exemption and Assets
A 16 or 17 year old who is a spouse or a cohabiting partner with an adult 18 years of age or older:


Expectations for 16 or 17 Year Olds
16 and 17 year old spouses or partners have an assessment completed at intake and a mutually agreed upon Service Plan developed. The Service Plan is developed to assist them to acquire the skills they need to become self-sufficient and independent.

The preferred situation for 16 and 17 year olds who are spouses or partners is full-time attendance at school. If the 16 and 17 year old decides to return to school, the learner must apply for Learner IS benefits.

If a 16 or 17 year old spouse/partner is not in school because they have a mental or physical incapacity or are assessed as unemployable, their eligibility for continued benefits is not affected.

PROCEDURES

If the worker becomes aware the 16 or 17 year old is not in school and is capable of attending school, the following steps apply:

  • The worker encourages the youth to return to school and assists them with internal and external options such as a referral to a Career and Employment Consultant (CEC) to help them meet this goal.

    The HH should already have a Service Plan and be working towards the employment and training goals set out in this plan.

     

  • If the youth chooses not to return to school, the youth is expected to be actively seeking employment and is referred to a CEC to complete a Service Plan.

     

  • If the worker is satisfied that the youth is actively seeking employment, the worker continues to provide benefits.

     

  • If the youth obtains employment, the worker applies the adult earnings exemption as per ISTHB Regulation Section 23(6) and Income policy.

     

  • If the worker is not satisfied that the youth is planning to return to school or is actively seeking employment, the worker determines the youth’s continued eligibility in accordance with IESA Section 15(1) and Eligibility Impacts policy.